Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Social Marketing - Not as Easy as it Sounds - Guest Blog From a Savvy Social Marketer - Darya Bushmakin

Social marketing is not as easy as it sounds. Most small to mid-size business owners can benefit from social marketing, but most do not really understand what is involved with it. Many think social marketing means creating a Facebook account and then waiting for the customers to seek you out. It does not happen that way at all. Social marketing involves building relationships with the right group of consumers. There is no step by step process that will work for every business when it comes to social marketing. As every business is different, every target consumer group is different. Finding the right group to socially market to is not easy. The path is not a straight line from A to B. This explains why so many people who try social marketing on their own get so discouraged.
Thankfully, there are experts in social marketing to make the journey much easier and more beneficial. The problem is many business owners think they can tackle social marketing on their own. Why hire an expert when one can create a Facebook and Twitter or any page for that matter on their own, at no cost? The answer to that question is very similar to the question, why hire an accountant? You hire an expert in the field because they are an expert. They know things you do not know. Just as the accountant knows the current tax law and where to get the best write-offs, a social marketing expert knows how to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. They know how to find the clients you are looking for. They understand how to keep these customers engaged in your company. Just finding the customers won’t do anything for business if these customers are not socially engaged and converting to customers.
Social marketing does not happen overnight. While hiring an expert may seem like an unnecessary expense to you, try and remind yourself that you need to spend money to make money. Do not think you can hire someone for a month, sales will go through the roof, and then you can just take over where the professional left off. (Again, referring this business function to the accountant, you wouldn’t take over your book keeping or tax preparation after a month of accounting services, right?!) It takes time and effort for social marketing to work the way it is meant to work.
One example I can give you is a client who had a set monthly budget and after several months was starting to reap the rewards. In this case, it was being asked to write and or speak on her topic of expertise. Once the success happened, she drastically reduced her social marketing budget. Almost in an instant her website visits went from the thousands to zero – yes—zero! This is the best example I can give you as to why you should use a professional for social media and why it should remain a line item in your marketing budget permanently.

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